Memorial Hermann Healthcare System Physicians Receive CRIMSON Initiative(R) Founders Award

Drs. Blakely and Heisler saluted for work in physician performance analysis and enhancement

WASHINGTON, April 27 /PRNewswire/ --- Pioneering health care system executives Richard Blakely, M.D., and James T. Heisler, M.D., have received The Advisory Board Company's CRIMSON Initiative® Founders Award for their path-breaking vision and extraordinary alpha-partner contributions from the outset of Crimson, a web-based platform for physician performance analysis and improvement. Dr. Blakely serves as Chief Medical Officer of Memorial Hermann Health Network Providers and Dr. Heisler is Medical Director for MHealth, the self-funded insurance plan for Memorial Hermann Healthcare System employees.

(Logo: )

The two physician executives accepted their awards at the CRIMSON Annual Performance Summit held at the University of Texas at Austin on April 16.

Drs. Blakely and Heisler identified a need for improved measurement of physician performance within the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System and in 2004 became founding members of what is known now as the CRIMSON Initiative®, providing constructive input on the design and launch of early tools. The CRIMSON Initiative's web-based platform tracks physician performance, providing severity-adjusted comparisons to peers nationwide and enabling alignment with recognized best clinical practices. Since the product's launch in 2005, hundreds of hospitals have adopted the tool, facilitating improved communication between administrators and physicians, and yielding productive partnerships.

"The Award recognizes the contributions of two exceptionally dedicated individuals whose leadership has a significant, nationwide impact on hospital performance and patient care," said Advisory Board Executive Vice President Richard Schwartz. "Their work with CRIMSON is especially timely due to the growing attention to data transparency and value in today's health care system."

The Founders Award is one of many accolades within the distinguished careers of both Drs. Blakely and Heisler. "Working in a hospital is truly a team effort," Dr. Blakely said. "We're pleased to have been part of this successful team, and to have supported so many administrator-physician teams across the country. Our entire team should feel a part of this unique honor."

Richard Blakely, M.D., is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and practiced General Internal Medicine for nearly twenty-five years before joining the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in 1997 as Medical Director. Dr. Blakely works closely with others in Memorial Hermann leadership roles to enhance the value of physician practices and to collaborate with the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in improving quality and efficiency of care. Dr. Blakely is the physician leader of Memorial Hermann's clinical integration efforts, bringing together independent physicians in a common commitment to evidence-based medical practice, quality measurement and outcomes reporting, with the goal of evolving into an accountable care organization. He also serves on Memorial Hermann's Corporate Compliance Committee and Medical Missions Committee.

James T. Heisler, M.D., is Medical Director for MHealth. He was certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in 1985 and by the American Board of Geriatrics in 1990, and was recertified in 2002 in both specialties. Dr. Heisler has served as volunteer faculty at several institutions including Memorial Hermann Hospital Southwest, the University of Texas Department of Family Practice and Community Medicine, and Baylor College of Medicine. Prior to his current position, he served as Chairman of the Institutional Review Board at Memorial Hermann Hospital System, Case Management Medical Director at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, Inpatient / Hospitalist Program Medical Director for Memorial Hermann Health Network Providers, and Medical Director of Memorial Hermann Health Network Providers' Clinical Integration Program. His achievements have included the development of hospitalist programs at two campuses (with another two campuses currently in development), and the development of an oversight program to monitor internal medicine physicians' performance on call for the emergency room.

To request a white paper detailing how Memorial Hermann Healthcare System has achieved cost savings and quality improvements through their physician oversight program, visit

About Memorial Hermann Healthcare System

An integrated health system, Memorial Hermann is known for world-class clinical expertise, patient-centered care, leading-edge technology and innovation. The system, with its exceptional medical staff and 20,000 employees, serves southeast Texas and the greater Houston community. Memorial Hermann's 11 hospitals include three hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, including a Level I trauma center, a hospital for children and a rehabilitation hospital, as well as three heart and vascular institute locations and eight suburban hospitals. The system also operates the Life Flight® air ambulance service; cancer, imaging and surgery centers; sports medicine and rehabilitation centers; outpatient laboratories; a wellness center; a chemical dependency treatment center; a home health agency; a retirement community; and a nursing home. To learn more, visit or call 713.222.CARE.

About The CRIMSON Initiative®

The first performance management platform informed by physicians, The Advisory Board Company's CRIMSON Initiative® helps members advance quality goals and secure total cost savings measured in millions of dollars. The CRIMSON Initiative's web-based solutions, which combine business intelligence technology with best practice implementation, now support more than 270 individual hospitals representing more than 25,000 physician users, demonstrating that sharing timely and rigorous performance data with physicians can yield significant cost savings and quality improvements. To learn more about CRIMSON Initiative® solutions, visit  

About The Advisory Board Company

The Advisory Board Company is a leading provider of comprehensive performance improvement services to the health care and education sectors -- including operational best practices and insights, technology solutions, leadership development, and consulting and management support. Drawing on nearly three decades of experience, The Advisory Board Company is privileged to serve a membership of more than 2,800 organizations, all sharing a charter "above commerce," a commitment to best-practice standards, and an unyielding insistence on continual improvement. For more information visit

Media Contacts:

Ann Brimberry

Memorial Hermann Health Network Providers

(713) 242-4787

[email protected]

Pete Simpkinson

The Advisory Board Company


[email protected]

SOURCE The Advisory Board Company